Alabama lawmakers pass lifetime concealed carry bill

Published 9:10 pm Thursday, April 8, 2021

Alabama lawmakers approved a bill Thursday that would let people purchase lifetime permits to carry a concealed firearm and also create a registry of people prohibited from carrying guns.

The House of Representatives voted 69-18 to grant final approval to the bill sponsored by Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika. The measure now goes to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey who will decide whether to sign it into law

The proposal could do away with the need for gun carriers to regularly renew their permits, and it will bring some organization to the permit system, said Rep. Proncey Robertson, R-Mount Hope, who carried the bill in the House.

“It does create a lifetime carry option for those who would like to purchase one. And the third main thing it will do is create a prohibited firearms person registry,” Robertson said.

The legislation comes after previous efforts to abolish the permit requirement failed under opposition from law enforcement officials.

Under the bill, people would be able to purchase permits that last for a year, five years or a lifetime. The lifetime permits would cost $300 or $150 if the applicant is over age 60. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency would be required to create a database of people ineligible to possess a firearm by state and federal law. Courts would be required to forward any conviction or court order that would make a person ineligible to carry a firearm.

“Any Alabamian who can legally purchase a handgun should be able to obtain a lifetime concealed carry permit, but bad actors and individuals deemed prohibited from obtaining this permit should be registered and flagged as such,” Price said in an earlier statement about the bill.

Some Democrats asked if the state could do more to reduce gun violence.

“When you go see a mother who has lost a son or a daughter to gun violence, senseless gun violence, it’s happening too much,” said Rep. Ralph Howard, D-Greensboro.

Howard voted for the bill.